Raytheon successfully tests HARM upgrades

By on Friday, September 7th, 2012

Raytheon has completed testing of High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) upgrades, which make the combat-proven missile more precise and accurate, while reducing collateral damage.

HARM suppresses or destroys surface-to-air missile radars, early warning radars and radar-directed air defense artillery systems. The upgrade, called the HARM Control Section Modification (HCSM), adds a GPS receiver and an improved inertial measurement unit (IMU) for precision navigation.

HCSM also features a digital flight computer that merges targeting solutions from navigation and seeker systems. The enhancements improve the probability of hit, while controlling where the missile can and cannot fly.

The HCSM effort is an ongoing U.S. Air Force-led competition between two contractors, with a down-select scheduled in 2012 for full rate production.

“HCSM improves HARM’s anti-radar capability to defeat counter-HARM tactics, while reducing the risk of fratricide and collateral damage,” said Harry Schulte, vice president of Air Warfare Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems.

“HCSM also enables warfighters to leverage HARM’s supersonic speed and standoff capability to rapidly and accurately engage time-critical targets.”

As part of the Air Force competition, Raytheon completed two flight tests of HCSM-modified HARMs. During an April 12, 2012, test, an F-16 aircraft fired an HCSM variant against an emitter that shut down, while a similar threat outside the designated missile impact zone threatened to lure the missile off target.

The missile rejected this lure and successfully guided to its primary target. During a May 3 test, an HCSM-enhanced HARM that was fired from an F-16 used GPS coordinates to engage with high accuracy a simulated time-critical target.

“Raytheon’s HCSM offers the warfighter enhanced capability, and we believe it will provide the taxpayer the best value,” said Chuck Pinney, Raytheon Missile Systems’ HARM program director.

“Instead of buying similar systems that cost more, or spending billions of dollars to develop an entirely new system, Raytheon’s HCSM will give HARM new capability at an affordable price.”

The AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile is a key battlefield element to suppress or destroy surface-to-air missile radars, early warning radars, and radar-directed air defense artillery systems. HARMs have made hostile airspaces worldwide safer for U.S. and allied warfighters. The missile resides in the inventories of eight countries.

+ More than 4,000 HARMs have been employed in combat.

+ HCSM adds GPS/IMU navigation accuracy, giving HARM the ability to engage time-critical targets.

+ HCSM has new features that degrade counter-HARM tactics, while reducing the risk of fratricide or collateral damage.

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